From Restaurant to Home: Hake with Asparagus Recipe

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Neil Forbes is the Chef Director at Café St. Honoré. Located down a cobbled lane in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, this fantastic little French café has all the exquisite delights of good food. The kitchen’s secret is simple. Good, fresh, local produce. This means the á la carte menu changes daily to reflect the seasonal options, and it is backed up with a Café Classics menu.

The kitchen has a ‘Slow Food’ philosophy, meaning they get all their supplies and produce locally which in turn supports the local economy and reduces food miles.

The restaurant has won several awards over the years and with a chef director who is one of Scotland’s most passionate chefs, it is little wonder. This small restaurant has a big foothold within the industry as it leads the way in sustainability. Here at Taste Scotland, we are excited to get exclusive recipes with Chef Neil Forbes and bring the Café St. Honoré to your home.

Hake with Asparagus

A quick, delicious and healthy recipe for those hot, summer days.

A few tips before you start:

- Rinse the asparagus in cold water immediately after cooking as part of the ‘blanching’ process.

- Make sure the fish is dry before you start cooking it.

Serves: 4 people


4 fillets of hake (about 180g each), skin on. Scales and bones removed

8 spears of asparagus, woody ends removed

8 new potatoes, (Sharpe’s Express or Aura is best)

A handful of mixed tomatoes, roughly chopped; cherry, coeur de boeuf, yellow, etc

200ml organic olive oil

A few fresh herbs – basil, fennel herb and chives are good

A squeeze of lemon

A few halved radishes to garnish (optional)

Good salt and pepper

Cooking Method:

Scrub the potatoes and boil in salted water for 15 minutes or until just cooked. Drain and allow time to cool slightly.

In the meantime, ‘blanch’ the asparagus - boil in salted water then rinse in cold water. Make sure to cook the asparagus until just tender for 3-4 minutes.

With a non-stick frying pan, gently heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook each hake fillet (make sure the fish is dry) skin-side down for 5 minutes until golden around the edges. As the fish is cooking, season with salt and pepper.

In a separate pot, heat the rest of the olive oil, then add the tomatoes. Take the fresh herbs and rip them into the pan to gently heat. Add lemon juice to taste and season mixture.

Add asparagus and potatoes to the pan with the fish to reheat. Flip the fish over to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon to the hake, and one final season of salt and pepper.

To serve, divide the potatoes and asparagus between four plates (preferably warmed) and place a hake fillet on top. Add the tomato and herb mixture, then garnish with a few radishes.

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